One of my favorite clothing brands, H&M, communicated about its new collection last summer but it provoked an unexpected and huge media hype in Europe. On the display, the model named Isabeli Fontana wearing H&M’s swimming suits was judged too tanned by doctors and associations against skin cancer.
H&M was trying to make its clothes attractive so it chose a sunny environment where the model is having languishing positions which makes it feel like it is really hot where she is. That might be the reason why she is so tanned. However she got deeply tanned, the associations did not like it because even if they are not aware of that, brands broadcast their fashionable products along with an ideal beauty. People who are sensitive to advertising are maybe going to be subconsciously considering that to be well seen you have to be heavily tanned. Isn’t that the point of going to a sunny place after all ?
The problem is that some people get addicted to products and sun and every year more people die from skin cancer than car accidents in Europe. I can understand why they were complaining. H&M tried to defend its campaign by saying that its model was naturally more tanned than European people because she came from Brazil. But actually when I googled her name, she was not that tanned at all, even if she is Brazilian. In fact I could not recognize her. The point is that people who follow trend are usually easily swayed because they follow what they see and think is fashionable, that is why specialist were shocked.
Brands launch trends they have to be aware of that people use all the details of their commercials, good or bad things, they have to really think of what they are promoting. I think in this case H&M knew that the model was too tanned, it is obvious that she is not naturally like that, Photoshop had been used to show the strong color of their new swimming suits, to make them attractive. But it was just too much for this time like specialists said. The brand could have figured out something else to highlight its clothes, usually H&M uses really good advertising -well it already had another media hype about skinny models- like sand or shadow. I do not really think it hurts its image for now because H&M is too famous and fashionable, I know its is a brand so I guess it cares more about how to sell their products than promoting messages. But in every advertising you can find messages beyond products like a way of life supposed to make the customers dream and make them loyal to the brand. So I guess it is better if it is a healthy one or at least not an incriminating one to avoid any bad publicity. Let’s see what H&M will do for winter !